If you have lost your innocence, how do you get it back? Some say you cannot. However, when you repent of your sins, forgive others, and pursue holiness, you begin restoring your innocence. Innocence is not the absence of a knowledge of sin but freedom from the guilt of committing it.
How to get your innocence back
Have you ever noticed that when you buy a new car, you suddenly find everyone else on the road has the same vehicle? You see it everywhere. You buy a green pickup and suddenly, you see them everywhere. Lost innocence works like this.
Perhaps the cure for seeing every other green truck like yours is to get out of it. On foot, all automobiles look equal—none really stands out that much more than others do. In fact, when you are no longer behind your windshield, you see much more than you ever did from behind that lens.
A molested girl begins to see all men as perverts through her tinted “windshield.” She may even catch her reflection in that “lens,” giving her self-image saying she exists for male sexual gratification. She learns the ways of the snake, injecting guilty venom into others.
Those who have lost our innocence have to step out of that jaded vehicle. The girl with shame in her past must park those old hurts to see life differently. The hurtfully divorced man will have to go “on foot” for a while to not let his sour experience destroy his view of life. War veterans need to reformat their view of life by daily effort.
Find true maturity in innocence
Losing your innocence has become a “rite of passage” in American culture. Producers label music, movies, and games as having “mature” content. Unfortunately, society calls things mature when really they reveal the most immaturity and depravity.
I am not “mature” enough to listen to dirty jokes. I am not able to listen to godless music—it bothers me. We should not speak of what evildoers do in secret (Ephesians 5). I try to avoid the smut in the news and I refuse to repeat it if I happen to hear of it. If I see someone killed in a movie, it bothers me deeply. I avoid all these things as much as I can.
Rather than telling young men they need to toughen up enough to watch the blood-and-guts movies and games, we should tell them as Paul did Timothy, flee youthful lusts. Do not touch the unclean thing. Real men prove maturity by tenderness and compassion, not brute strength or unloading an AK-47.
Build immunity to sin
Diseased people have compromised immune systems. If your white blood cells cannot keep up with the junk coming into your body, the pathogens will take over and kill you. Cancerous tumors shield themselves from a person’s immune system and grow without resistance. What parts of your life have closed off access to the Holy Spirit? You may let Him into your friendships and public life, but have you blocked Him from purifying your iPod, smartphone, or internet browser? Does He have access to your bookshelf, magazine rack, or movie collection?
Just as your physical immune system feeds on nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin D3, so your spiritual immunity only grows with the right nutrients. Are you searching all of the Scriptures? Or do you just read the ones that make you comfortable? Do you access all that your church offers, or only pop in on Sunday mornings? Do you pray daily, letting Jesus sweep your soul clean of impurities, or do you wait until everything crashes and you have to go on spiritual life-support?
Since you are under daily attack, rebuild your spiritual protection daily by heart-moving prayer (producing tears), soul-inspiring scripture study (bringing joy), and impacting someone else for good (proactive victory).
You can get your innocence back!
You can overcome the sting of the snake only by the life-giving power of God’s Spirit. We are not naturally immune to the devil. The dove landed on Jesus, anointing Him with power over the serpent (Luke 3:21; Acts 10:38). He gives us that same power to defeat the slithering enemy (Luke 10:19). Accept His Spirit in your life.
Daily, I overcome my old windshields by praying in the Holy Ghost. Fortunately, my parents helped me receive this awesome gift of God’s Spirit as a child. I slowly lost my innocence as I grew up and learned of the devil’s wicked ways, but I could always go back to the Dove and re-learn the harmless way of life.
You will never regain your ignorance about sin. However, you can choose to live as if you did not know. Regain innocence by asking God to forgive you for being a snake. Shed your old slithering ways and begin to soar with the dove. Give up the venom of wickedness and rise to the perch of pure thoughts, actions, and entertainment. Now, help others get aloft from this sinful world so they can see things from heaven’s point of view.